White collar crimes can involve a wide variety of charges, like embezzlement, fraud, tax evasion, and more. Since they’ve become much easier to commit due to the internet, white-collar offenses are taken very seriously by the law. Offenders may be charged at both the federal and state level (though most severe white-collar crimes are taken to federal court) and require a strong defense.
Due to the severity of the consequences for this type of conviction, working with a white-collar crime lawyer is essential if you’re facing this particular difficulty. The earlier you speak with a legal professional, the better your odds are of securing a more favorable outcome.
What You Should Know About White Collar Crimes in Arizona
- White-collar crimes are often prosecuted at the federal level and taken very seriously
- Several offenses fall under the definition of white-collar crimes, including fraud and embezzlement
- Receiving a conviction for this type of crime can severely limit your future opportunities and land you in jail
- Speaking with a skilled white-collar lawyer is essential if you’ve been accused of such an offense
Crimes Considered to be White-Collar Offenses
As mentioned, many crimes fit under the umbrella of “white-collar” offenses. Here are some examples:
Conspiracy involves conspiring with another person to commit a crime. You may receive this charge if you prepare for or organize a criminal offense or promote/commit a criminal offense with at least one other person and agree that one of you will carry it out. Note that a conspiracy charge doesn’t require you to act overtly if it involves a felony crime like arson, first-degree burglary, or is directed to harm someone else.
Fraud applies to a range of crimes that involve deceitful behavior, falsified statements or misrepresenting facts, and dishonesty. For example, if someone uses the postal system to obtain valuables or money in an illegal way, they may get a mail fraud charge. Similarly, using false information to lure people into investing money can lead to a securities fraud charge.
Tax evasion is one of the most common white-collar crimes and is defined as illegally or intentionally avoiding paying your taxes to the government. Misstating expenses or income, failing to file your return, or making false statements all fall under the definition of tax evasion and come with serious penalties.
Embezzlement refers to misappropriating or taking property, money, or funds. Even if you don’t keep the money or property and simply transfer it to someone else, you might end up with an embezzlement charge for taking assets that you were entrusted with.
Money laundering involves a scheme where a person receives money from their criminal behavior, such as selling drugs or committing tax evasion. Often, launderers set up fake companies and create accounts to add and draw money from. Money laundering requires that the launderer gains capital from their illegal actions, puts it through a scheme to hide this fact, and that the money goes back to the launderer.
Penalties for White-Collar Crimes in Arizona
As with all offenses, the penalties for white-collar crimes will vary based on the specific type of crime committed and its severity. For example, identity theft may come with fines, restitution, prison time, and probation, while a fraud conviction can involve similar consequences.
Misdemeanor convictions for white-collar crimes may result in up to a year in jail, while felony white-collar crimes could result in hefty fines and many years in prison. As mentioned, it’s imperative that you speak with a criminal defense attorney right away if you’ve been accused of this type of offense.
Possible Defenses for White-Collar Crimes
If you’ve been accused of a white-collar crime, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney right away. They will want to hear the details of the case and help you come up with the best solution for you, whether it’s negotiating a plea bargain or fighting for your innocence. Building a valid defense may involve evaluating the evidence used against you, such as witness statements, computer records, and financial data. In some cases, you may be able to have your charges reduced significantly.
FAQ on White-Collar Crimes in Arizona
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding white-collar crimes:
Q: How are white-collar crimes related to the federal court system?
As mentioned, most white-collar offenses violate both state and federal law. As a result, these crimes can be prosecuted at both levels. For a more serious white-collar crime, however, you’ll most likely go to federal court.
Q: Will I still be able to find employment with a white-collar crime on my record?
It may be difficult to find work after receiving a white-collar crime conviction, since most of these offenses involve dishonesty and fraud. Some employers might not like having to show that they hired someone with a criminal past to company shareholders. This is worth keeping in mind if you have yet to engage in criminal behavior.
Q: Should I hire an attorney even if I’m not guilty?
Every criminal defendant should work with a legal professional if possible. In fact, if you’re innocent, it may be even more important so you can ensure you aren’t convicted for something you didn’t do.
Q: What is criminal restitution?
Restitution is a method that orders an individual convicted of a crime to pay the victim for the damages caused. The state has the authority to instruct offenders to compensate their victims as part of sentencing for the crime. White-collar crime offenders may have to pay additional fines on top of restitution costs.
What to Do if You’re Facing Charges for a White Collar Crime in Arizona
If you’ve been charged with a white-collar crime in Arizona (at either a state or federal level), speaking with a criminal defense attorney is a must. A serious criminal charge can impact the rest of your life in damaging ways. Speak with an attorney as early in the process as you can, as this will help increase your odds of a better outcome.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.
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